6 Key Steps of Problem Solving

Problem solving is the act of defining a problem, determining the cause of the problem, identifying, prioritizing, selecting alternatives for a solution, and implementing a solution. When prospective employers are talking about problem-solving, they are usually trying to gauge the ability and skills to deal with difficult situations and complicated business problems.

Almost all employers value problem-solving skills and seek to have employees with these traits to aid the decision-making process in the day-to-day functioning of the company. Furthermore, these are 6 key steps of problem solving which described as follows.

Define the problem

In this process, people will learn more about the problem itself which is important because a single situation may involve multiple problems, they identify each problem and determine the root cause.

Identify alternative solutions

Brainstorm all possible ways to solve the existing problem. Invite suggestions from everyone affected by the problem and consult those who may have more experience with the type of challenge you’re experiencing. You can also use surveys and discussion groups to generate ideas.

Evaluate solutions

Once you have a list of alternatives, it is time to evaluate them. Assess the positive and negative consequences of each alternative defined in the previous step. Analyze and compare all the alternatives in terms of the resources required for their implementation.

Select a solution

This select a solution step occur after the evaluation process is over, select a solution most likely to solve the problem.

Implementing the chosen solution

The next step involves implementing the chosen solution, which usually requires people to define timelines for implementation or to develop an action plan to implement the chosen solution.

Monitor progress and make adjustments

Make sure to continuously measure progress to ensure your solution works. Gather data and feedbacks to determine if the solution meets their needs. You may need to make adjustments to the process if anything unexpected arises.


To sum up, by understanding those key steps of problem-solving, it will lead people to solve problem better and be a good problem solver in their team or organization, which beneficial to their career advancement and organization’s success.


Editorial Team. (2020). Effective Problem Solving Steps in the Workplace. Indeed blog. https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/effective-problem-solving-steps



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